By Doug Cox
Daniel and his three friend’s story of being taken into captivity is an amazing one. Ripped from their roots and family in Jerusalem, they found themselves in the foreign land of Babylon fighting to keep their God given faith alive. Daniel 1:8 says “…Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank, therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Reading to the end of the chapter you find that Daniel prevailed and won his first battle to keep his faith alive.
Not long afterwards he finds his life is in jeopardy again. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and wanted his magicians, astrologers and wisemen to not only interpret the dream but tell him what the dream was. Sound impossible? It was for them, so the king started issuing pink slips by way of death. Daniel was on the list to be killed, but he asked for time to pray. He did and God answered giving him both the dream and its interpretation. The king was pleased and gave him and his friends all promotions.
Interestingly, even though Daniel made sure the remaining wisemen were spared by the king, they still developed a deep hatred and jealousy for him. As time went on this religious cast of wicked men plotted and planned to get rid of Daniel and his pesky Hebrew friends, but not even a fiery furnace could destroy them.
Then another king came into power, threw a party and got the bright idea to offer praise to demons with the sacred cups stolen from the Temple in Jerusalem. In his pride he provoked the God of heaven who sent a mysterious ‘Instagram’ type message, engraving it into a plaster wall. The king called for his wise guys to tell him what it meant. They failed again. Then along comes Daniel who could and did, revealing that the king and his kingdom were finished. The king died that night just like Daniel said, but not before giving Daniel another promotion. Shortly after that the new king was considering who to help him run his government. Once again, the now 85 year old Daniel, was at the top of the list.
Infuriated, the hateful leaders put together what would be their last plot, one most everyone has heard of. Their strategy was simple. They coaxed king Darius to write a law saying that no man could pray to any other god but him. The penalty? Make lion food of the offender. They knew Daniel wouldn’t pray to the king even though he knew his life was in mortal danger. They were right. Daniel kept praying through an open window, three times a day, toward Jerusalem. His strategy was unusual, throw open the window, a storm is coming.
Daniel’s life was all about trust. He trusted God from the very beginning and in every situation he found himself in. By throwing open his window in the face of possible death, he was inserting God into the circumstances. He knew if he hid away here, they would come with something else. Because God knew He had more for Daniel to do, He was obligated to intervene. The night Daniel was thrown to the lions, he slept better than the regretful king. At the end of the day righteousness prevailed and evil was swallowed up. Daniel applied Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Friends, we are living in an uncertain world, shouldn’t we do the same?